When is it no longer a woman’s right to choose? The lasting impact of the Gosnell trial.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is escorted to a waiting police van upon leaving the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia, Monday, May … Continued

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is escorted to a waiting police van upon leaving the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia, Monday, May 13, 2013, after being convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies who were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his clinic. (AP Photo/Philadelphia Daily News, Yong Kim)

The Dr. Kermit Gosnell saga has come to a close, but the debate surrounding the case is far from over. The disturbing murder trial has reignited a culture war, putting pro-choice forces on the defensive.

Beyond the sociopolitical impact, the abortion doctor’s actions provide an unprecedented gut check — both an opportunity and a calling for Americans to explore the state of the nation’s moral and ethical fabric.

At its core, the case was a gruesome horror show — a legal battle so graphic, so unbelievable that anyone paying attention found themselves faced with some uncomfortable and patently difficult questions. Among them: When is it no longer a woman’s right to choose? What is the difference, morally speaking, between aborting a viable “fetus” in utero or snipping his or her spine after birth?

While these curiosities are unpleasant, the realities surrounding Gosnell and late-term abortion in general force them upon us, as we are called to make sense of the revelations that Gosnell’s legal battle brought to light.

Rather than pointing to the doctor’s so-called “house of horrors” as the gold standard for the abortion industry, it’s important we have an honest discussion about the issues at hand. Are there other “Gosnells” out there who run seemingly dirty and unsanitary clinics? It’s possible and, as recent investigations have shown, after-birth abortion (i.e. murder) may not be as uncommon as activists claim.

It’s important to note, though, that analyzing the morality associated with late-term abortion isn’t predicated upon finding dirty and murderous clinics that put women’s lives at risk. While these rogue institutions should be located and shuttered and their leaders prosecuted, there are deeper and more profound issues that deserve discussion and scrutiny.

Obviously, most rational human beings would admit that snipping the spines of babies born alive during abortions is a horrific and murderous action. This is what many pro-choice advocates and groups have, themselves, admitted in the wake of Gosnell’s guilty verdict.

Yet these same leaders and institutions virtually never speak out about viable babies that are terminated in utero — children that are, with the help of medical advances, able to live on their own outside of the mother’s body, if afforded the chance. In fact, some of these groups give the impression that they want unfettered access to abortion, regardless of the time-frame.

Like most Americans, I have intense personal views on the morality of these procedures, but also like most citizens, I rarely think about the procedure, especially the methods through which it is conducted in the second and third trimesters. Gosnell’s trial changed that for me.

As I sat in the courtroom alongside other journalists, I silently listened for hours on end, as witnesses shared hair-raising testimony and heart-wrenching details. Bouncing between sheer discomfort and utter horror, it was an experience I will never forget — one that gave me new-found insight and perspective on the national discussion surrounding late-term abortion.

On April 16, as I sat in the courtroom at the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia, an important revelation was delivered from an unexpected source. The moment came when Gosnell’s attorney, Jack McMahon, publicly echoed what pro-life advocates have long argued: That abortion is a violent (or “rough,” as he termed it) act, particularly when the unborn are further along in their development.

As I reported on TheBlaze at the time, in defending his client in front of the judge and jury, McMahon said of abortion, “The process itself is kind of rough. You go in with forceps [you may go in and pull out an arm, a leg].”

The quote, alone, dealt a stinging blow to my conscience, as I fought off the mental images that the attorney’s stunning admission conjured. Of the handful of days that I spent in the courtroom, this was the most jarring, thought-provoking and pivotal moment I encountered.

I left the courtroom that day considering the cognitive dissonance that some in the pro-choice lobby regularly tout and that our society willingly tolerates. Consider that it’s difficult to condemn, on moral grounds, terminating a viable baby outside of the mother’s womb if one supports the right to do so in utero. This is more rooted in logic than it is opinion.

After all, the difference between the two is merely the tactic used to ensure death, isn’t it?

If we’re going to be honest with ourselves, we must ask — and attempt to answer — what the difference is between Gosnell’s actions and any and all forms of late-term abortion. Getting hung up on the method of termination and the physical location of the baby at the time it occurs is a distraction.

As I said, the Gosnell case requires that society ask itself the most uncomfortable question of all: When is it no longer a woman’s right to choose? As a journalist, I cannot definitively give an answer, but I can ask that, as a collective, we have the discussion and that we do so on realistic grounds.

No candy-coating. No avoidance of late-term abortion’s gruesome details. After all, our nation’s character and compassion hang in the balance.

Billy Hallowell is the faith editor at TheBlaze.com.

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  • gary0515

    This is simple, since there is no other way to create a human being, it is at the point of conception. All those who have had abortions are guilty of murder. All those who think abortion os ok are guilty of accessory to murder.

  • C Everette

    God help us. We have fallen so far only He can show us the way back to humanity.

  • cricket44

    A wiser approach would be to research the reasons why women need late term abortions.

  • DanikaH

    Simple, I lose my right to choose when the fetus is out of my body. I shouldn’t be forced to carry an unwanted child but if it is born alive it should be offered for adoption.

  • cricket44

    Sorry, but you completely ignore the actual person around the fetus. There is no murder here.

  • kewake

    No Cricket, there was murder. That is why Gosnell is in jail and will stay there for the rest of his life. The question asked was about what Gosnell did vs. all late term abortions. All late term abortions of viable human life, should be considered murder as well. Because it is.

  • takeakidfishing

    There was no murder? Are you high? A jury of self-described “pro-choice” (more accurately, pro-abortion) citizens declared otherwise. And about that “actual person around the fetus,” i.e., the ones that spread their legs for Gosnell so he could do what he does best, those would be known in the legal world as “accomplices”.

  • cricket44

    Gosnell is not representative of all abortions, as you well know, Kewake.

    If you want to discuss Gosnell, do that separately. If you want to flail and intertwine two topics that don’t belong together….have a good time. I’ll be elsewhere.

  • kewake

    This article is specifically about Gosnell and what he did and how it relates to all late term abortions. I didnt bring the discussion up, the author of this article did. You said there was not murder, there was. He was convicted of it.

    “As I said, the Gosnell case requires that society ask itself the most uncomfortable question of all: When is it no longer a woman’s right to choose? As a journalist, I cannot definitively give an answer, but I can ask that, as a collective, we have the discussion and that we do so on realistic grounds”

    That was the “question”.

  • cricket44

    I was responding to Gary…I assume you know how to read a thread? Gary’s discussion point was about a “person” from conception.

    Do stay on topic, thanks.

  • kewake

    Seriously? I think I was the only one staying on topic here. You are trying very hard to deflect the attention this case has gotten in relation to late term abortions. And showing us how truly barbaric abortion is.

  • cricket44

    I was responding to Gary’s post. You are, once again, hysterical. Have a rational day!

  • kewake

    Me? I think not. You are the one here responding to “Gary” that here were no murders. I think you are hysterical. We all are able to post here, remember? This is an opinion piece. And we can share our opinions? But since it is not the same as yours, its not OK. I am fine in my skin. Sorry this topic brushes you so terribly, wrong. Did Gary ask you to respond to him? Dont think so.

  • tony55398

    By what right does a women or anyone else have, to deny the right to live, to kill for that is what it is, anyone whether in the womb or out of it. A very evil right of course. Why does anyone kill her own flesh and blood, yet a very real, separate, human life. A personal decision, maybe, but it affects all of us. A mother whose existence depended on a mother willing to give birth so she may live, denies it to her own child. Simply evil, there’s no other word for it.

  • Humbly

    Indeed. The abortionists love masking the crime with tropes like “it’s a personal decision.” That’s a feeble attempt to rationalize murder. It’s no different than trying to excuse a rape or a lynching as “a personal decision.”

  • cricket44

    Speaking of usual abortion, there is no murder. Tony, why do you ignore the very real risks to the woman in every gestation and childbirth? Even if that’s not why she makes her choice, denying her that choice forces these risks upon her.

    Think about this: We do not compel blood donation or even organ donation to save the life of actual people. However, you would compel this for the sake of a potential?

    Also, Tony, are these risks anything YOU, yourself, will ever face? It’s much, much easier to decide what is right for *other* people, isn’t it?

  • Catken1

    Sounds fair enough to me.

  • Awesumm O’Possumm Nelson

    The RIGHT TO “CHOOSE” ends when another life begins. It is a CHILD, not a choice.

  • pjs-1965

    The author picked one big ripe juicy cherry to paint a whole issue.

  • pjs-1965

    “Men at construction and other labor jobs face greater risk of death each day than a woman giving birth does, yet somehow the woman must be permitted to kill the life SHE created in order to be spared such torture and agony as to care for and bring to term a human life. ”

    ScottinVA, come on! It takes TWO to make a life. The mother is not the sole responsible party. But I have come to know you. You are like Paul, who ruined Chrisianity, a misogynistic self hating guilt tripping freak who likes to tell other people what is right and wrong.

  • pjs-1965

    .. and yes, Christianity today is actually Paulism. Jesus would not know it.

  • cricket44

    Yup. But, hey, it sure excites the fetal fanatics.

  • cricket44

    Well said, pjs, I just ignore Scottie’s rants.

  • rdjtx

    Why is it, that jounalists and anti-abortionists insist on calling the anti-abortion crowd pro-life? that term insuinates that those who are pro-choice are by default “anti-life” and for the vast majority of that side of the coin, I don’t think that is true at all. the insinuation is patently unfair and wrong.

    I am on that side of the coin. I am pro-choice in the sense that I think the decision for an abortion should be between the wonam, her doctor, and whatever God she may or may not pray to. Hopefully the father is at least consulted. That being said I am anti-abortion I don’t condone them, done participate in them and I think that they should only be done in the cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is in danger. but that is my personal view and I should not be foisting that vew upon those that don’t believe as I do.

    If asked for my advice I would advise against it. but the decision rests between the woman and her doctor. it is not my place to make her morale or medical decision for her.

    Roe v Wade was NOT about abortion even tho the plantifs cause for bringing the action was the termination of her pregnancy. The anti-choice chrowd has usurped it and changed it’s meaning. Roe-v-Wade was about a Womans right to determine her own fate, what happens to her own body without the interferrence of intrusive government laws or even the meddling of her husband, preacher, lawyer, or judge. if Roe-v-Wade is repealled it will set womens rights back 100 years. go read it, something I wager very few of the anti-choice crowd had yet to do the word abortion is not mentioned.

  • kewake

    Gosnell did not only kill fetus’s, he killed real viable infants. That should be enough to get anyone excited about really looking at abortion. Especially late term abortions. Who is providing them, and where. They should be under much scrutiny. That is certain. Thinking that he is the only true bad egg in business of death, would be ignorant.

  • kewake

    pjs, you say it takes two to make a life. So, the male in the equation should always have a part in the decision. As soon as you dismiss the man as nothing more than a sperm donor, you are making the woman completely responsible for IT ALL. How is that fair? That is probably one of the biggest problems our society faces. Its all about the individual. Not about everyone truly involved. The possible family. Our men our important. Stop ignoring there thoughts and feelings regarding abortion. They are fathers, too.

  • kewake

    Why should anyone feel comfortable about abortion? Ever? If you give a doctor the right to end human life, what will stop them from making up their own rules about how/when they are doing it? It is one slippery slope. That power, to end human life, should not be handed out as medicine. Its just not medicine.

  • Catken1

    Ah, Scott, so concerned about “the murder of living humans for a woman’s convenience”, because any physical investment in another human’s life, any physical donation, that can only be made by a woman and not Scott MUST be a mere “inconvenience” that should be overridden by the other person’s RIGHT to live inside her and use her organs to survive. After all, the other person might be male, and therefore important. Ask him to make HIS organs and blood supply public property for the good of innocents who might need it to live, and suddenly it’s more than a mere “inconvenience” – but when the work and risk and pain and cost can only be borne by someone else, well, then, who cares?
    Murdering living humans for your convenience is what you do every time you fail to donate blood every eight weeks, or platelets every two. It’s what you do every time you use more resources than you need, leaving others without, or do more damage to the environment than you have to, leaving others to die in famine and preventable disease. But if you can’t see what you do, it doesn’t count, I guess.
    Or if, you know, you have a RIGHT to be treated as a human being with ownership of your own body and your own property, rather than one whose duty it is to serve as a device, a thing for the use of others.

  • GJ Simmons

    It’s always a woman’s choice. The decision is between her and her doctor. Mr. Hallowell may think his religious beliefs give him authority over the judgement of a physician, but fortunately for women in the US, our laws disagree.

  • GJ Simmons

    A woman’s pregnancy is her private business. It’s especially not the business of some man-made, male dominated religious organization. Making abortion illegal is never going to happen.

  • GJ Simmons

    Well then Scott, sperm are living things. You’ve murdered millions of them over the years no doubt. So you’re pro-death yourself.

  • DigitalQuaker

    The right to life of another is not private business. Not a womans, nor a mans, not a mothers, nor a fathers. You need to get beyond your own feminist reactions and understand that your narative doesn’t extend to the termination of someone’s else’s life.

  • DigitalQuaker

    rdjtx, I’m all for choice, and support a persons freedom to choose to it’s maximum ability. But that does not extend to ending the life of another. There is no convenient or intellectual way around this. This is not about plastic surgery, Lasic procedures, or steroid use. It’s a decision by one person that ends the life of another, one that can live on it’s own. And that issue the government has a responsibility to review and consider. Currently Roe vs. Wade is the law, but this country has had many unjust laws that have recended or overturned. IMO, Roe is headed for reconsideration and change. the question is how many children will be killed before this happens?

  • DigitalQuaker

    Yeah, this is all about Paul. /roll eyes…

  • cricket44

    It does if that “someone” is inside that woman’s body, DQ. It is absolutely the woman’s private business whether or not to continue.

  • cricket44

    It’s not convenient or intellectual, it’s the basic right to physical autonomy. If something or someone is in your body and you want them out, you have the right to remove it. That’s it.

    What efforts have you put into promotion of pregnancy prevention? How many men do you speak to about their behavior, vasectomies and contraception? It most definitely does NOT impact their health to look to any of those. The same cannot be said for pregnancy and childbirth.

  • kewake

    A pregnancy is not a cancerous tumor or a bad kidney. It is human life. It seems society is more worried about their autonomy than human life. Selfish and shameful.

  • dmreed2

    Decisions are very easy to make for other people. During my working years, as a Laboratory Tech, I worked with many young women dealing with the extremely dificult decision to seek an abortion. I don’t know a single one of the young women I served, that was happy making the decision to have a baby or an abortion. Of the many patients I delt with, most were seeking the procedure alone and through the demand of parents. While some came with a parent (usually their Mother) none came with the responsible Father. None were happy! There is only one way to avoid unwanted pregnancy – NO SEX! Laugh if you will, but in my young years, parents taught their Sons as well as Daughters ‘NOT’ to have sex without the cover of marriage. In current days parents have failed to talk to the youngster (and I mean BOTH young men as well as young women). Many States still require blood test before marraige. It’s too bad the same is not a requirement in all States, it saved many a heart-ache as well as a Life Threateing Disease. Laugh at that if you will, but the bottom word is “Don’t”. A pregnancy is not the worst thing that can happen as a result of sex with the wrong partner, there are several very serious diseases one can catch, some from which you might never be cured. Being cured is not the worst of possible results,
    No more needs to be said except, Parents of Teenagers BOTH of you have serious talks with you teenagers before it is too late, pregnancy is NOT THE WORST of what might face your youngsters.

  • cricket44

    It is, indeed, a selfish and shameful society that treats half the population as objects to be used.

  • Catken1

    Money isn’t the same as one’s own physical body parts. If my child needs so little as a pint of my husband’s blood to survive, the choice rests entirely with my husband, and I have no say – and if he chooses to give, the fact that he could have said no does NOTHING to diminish my child support responsibilities.

    “And Let’s not forget, Catken, that YOU put that living human in danger, YOU put that living human inside your own body. He didn’t CHOOSE to go there. ”

    If a living human needs a bone marrow donation from you, and you agree to give, they are, as a result of your agreement, given drugs that suppress their immune system. If you do not give after that, they will die, as a result of the situation your consent has put them in. Yet you retain the right to choose to change your mind and not donate, throughout the process, because your body is your own.

    You can say I was “created” for a purpose when you can provide any evidence that anyone with any intelligent purpose created me. I was not “created” to be property, or a thing to be used – I have the ability to give life, at great cost to myself, and therefore the responsibility and the right to decide when and how to do so. It is not a handicap, like being in a wheelchair or avoiding stairs – it is a gift I can give, and it is my choice as to when and how to give it. You do not make the gift more sacred by turning it into a “duty” and smugly sitting back and preening yourself about all the lives you’ve saved by co-opting what belongs to someone else and demanding they use it for the good of a third party.

  • kewake

    Then they should not take the risk. If they are not willing to support a life that may come from having sex, they should not have it. It is indeed selfish and shameful to make a decision, and not be responsible for it. Then claim that you are being used.

  • persiflage

    In regard to the matter of reproductive choice, having a uterus makes all the difference between having an opinion that counts for something vs having an opinion that counts for nothing. What a woman decides to do with regard to her own pregnancy is beyond all the hollow moralizing that appears to be coming mainly from men with extreme personal views on women’s rights.

    The anti-choice movement has failed to reverse Roe v Wade at the federal level, so they’ve resorted to arcane anti-abortion legislation at the state level……efforts that already appear doomed as unconstitutional. Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood services have been all but abolished in a number of states, and it’s doubtful that these losses will be reversed.

    The anti-choice movement is essentially destructive, and solves nothing.

  • cricket44

    Sorry to tell you but physical intimacy is a part of a healthy life. Choosing to be intimate does not automatically include choosing to be pregnant. It never has, ever. Read some history.

    You can scold all you like but women are people with rights.

  • cricket44

    “The anti-choice movement is essentially destructive, and solves nothing. ”


  • kewake

    The pro-abortion movement destroys life. Every day. And yes, physical intimacy is surely important to a healthy life, no doubt. But ti does come with responsibilities. Which includes the possibility of becoming pregnant. Both parties, female and male, should be aware and responsible.

  • kewake

    Women deserve much more than the anti-life movement is offering them. Do not forget that there are more choices out there besides death. Lift them and the men in their life up. Give them real choices. Support local crisis pregnancy centers. Reach out to youth groups. Harness a group at your place of worship. Value women, men and life. It really is a good thing, not sad at all. Not depriving. (Yes, I know I am going to get torn up for this post, and I could give a flying booger that I will) It needs to be said, loud and clear and often.

  • kewake

    Crickett, I dont know what experiences you have actually had with crisis centers. But all I ever experienced was love and real people caring about women. So much that they know that their services may not change the minds of some women. They have seen many women walk out the door and still choose abortion. But at least they are there for those that need/want the help. It is deceptive to depict abortion as anything other than ending human life. And deceptive to speak of crisis centers in such an unkind light. Let women make their own choices, if you are so pro-choice.

  • cricket44

    Not deceptive. Quite honest, actually.

    “Let women make their own choices”

    I do. Without emotional blackmail, without lying, without coercion.

    That’s the difference between us. You do not respect those you do not approach honestly (and honesty, true honesty, is based in fact, not your opinion.)

  • kewake

    I dont lie. I dont coerce. I actually support women. Even when they have abortions. I help them. Do you help them? Do you help those women that are now dealing with emotional trauma from having had those abortions that you think are so valuable? Do you help them? Do you help women who choose life and get them the resources they need to support that life? Do you help? I do, and that is a FACT. You can sit back and spout all the facts youd like, it does not change the fact that women need help and their children do too. And the men need to be supported as well. They should not be made to feel that they need to sit on the sideline when they were part of creating this life. Take care of each other. If you do care.

  • cricket44

    You say you don’t lie and below you say abortion only hurts women. This is NOT true. This is your belief, which is not universal, your opinion, which is not universal.

    What about the emotional trauma of being forced to give birth against one’s will? Let’s hear you address that.

  • kewake

    I think that if women felt that they would have unfettered support, they would always choose life. Abortion is damaging to women more often than not. Its a sacrifice to have children, even when we are ready for them. But to sacrifice your childs life to save your life the way you want it right now, goes against the actual will to live. There is more trauma in death than in life.

  • cricket44

    “I think that if women felt that they would have unfettered support, they would always choose life. ”

    That’s a great thought, and I’m sure some would. But I know, for a fact, from talking with women who have made the choice to abort, that no, they would not always choose to give birth. I have no problems with support. I think it is *part* of what needs to happen. But NOT at the expense of forcing women to give birth involuntarily.

    “Abortion is damaging to women more often than not.” No. This is your opinion, it is not factual. The entire rest of your post is opinion and not fact.

    You still haven’t answered the question. If you are concerned about “emotional trauma,” why is it okay to ignore the emotional trauma of women forced to give birth? Do you just ignore that it exists?

  • kewake

    No, I am sure that it exists. And that it should be treated with the same care that the trauma that women who regret their abortion feel. And of course the trauma ridden women who are forced to abort because they dont feel that they have any other choice.

    We need to stop shoving sex and abortion down every body’s (especially our children) throats and give real support and real choice. ‘Moral’ should not be a “bad word”. It actually serves society much better to have them, than not. And for the last freaking time, this is AN OPINION piece. I dont care what FACTS you think you have Cricket. I care about what I can actually do to help. Having all the facts in the world is not going to change the crisis of abortion. People have to actually stand up and help. Real help.

  • cricket44

    Who is shoving sex and abortion? What is your definition of “shoving?” Tell me, are the hugely over-inflated photos of dead fetuses a good thing for children?

    Moral isn’t a bad word. It’s a *subjective* word..as is “real” choice. Women do have real choice. You just don’t like it.

    Actually, having facts is the *only* way to diminish the need for abortion. Make no mistake, it has always been part of the human experience and, barring huge scientific inventions, always will be. So the best option is to lessen the need for it.

    Supporting women who *want* to continue their pregnancies is one way. So is *comprehensive* sex ed, contraception of all types for women, and a much greater emphasis on male behavior, vasectomies, and use of contraception.

    I don’t *think* I have facts. I have them.

    Fact: A cloud is a visible mass of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere, typically high above the ground. Opinion: That cloud is a fluffy bunny. Now, you can dream and extol that fluffy bunny all you want…but at some point, it’s going to rain on you.

    That trauma of forced birth shouldn’t be treated. It needs to NEVER be an issue. Disrespecting women, treating them as things with no will of their own, is not “love and compassion,” no matter how much you wish it so.

  • kewake

    TV, Music, Social Media, Internet, its everywhere. So much as Id have to go live in a Yurt just to get them away from it. I talk to them about it. And I have never, every carried a picture of a dead fetus, anywhere. I have shared them when asked for them, though.

    Moral is a word – Adjective
    Concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character.
    A lesson, esp. one concerning what is right or prudent, that can be derived from a story, a piece of information, or an experience.
    adjective. ethical – ethic – virtuous
    noun. morality – morals – ethics – morale – lesson

    Abortion is no fluffy bunnies. And a far cry from a weather report. I have facts too. Fact – Abortion is the premature ending of human life. Whether it be a natural occurrence because of fetal health or if the mother chooses to end the life by un-natural means.

    It is disrespectful to women to not support them and give them what they need. It is disrespectful to de-value human life and its potential. Especially disrespectful to women if that life you choose to end is a female, right? No…well, there ya go. Good day. Off to do good things in society. Actually engage people and share the good news about life.

  • Heather Wiech

    I am rather tired of men talking about women’s reproductive rights. When you are the one facing 9 months + 18 years of responsibility, damage to your body, life threatening birth process, potentially life-long poverty, and significantly reduced options in life, then you can talk to me about what rights are appropriate. Till then, shut the hell up. You have no say.

  • kewake

    Then dont have sex with men. They are the fathers of our children. If you give them a chance. And have every right to their children as you do.

  • Meche

    Kewake I am happy to see there is someone with common sense and humanity around here! thank you for your work! The way I see it, the anti – life movement (not pro – choice because a “choice” must be done with freedom, and for that to happen information is essential, and in my experience to show all information to a woman who is about to abort is considered as manipulation or obstacle for many pro abortionists) they view pregnancy as the worst thing, must horrifying, deathly experience you could ever have, that is not true, it is in fact a natural process (unlike the abortion) for what nature has given women all they need to carry it out in a healthy way, when combined with exercise and a good diet your body can return to its original shape no problem, I have 3 children and still model, many women do it. To compare pregnancy as something as horrific and traumatic as an abortion is just ignorance and a will to justify the later. Having said that, I am pro – choice, I believe we are also accountable for our choices, a woman can decide: “I want to have sexual relations, I could get pregnant, but I still want to do it” The choice goes before, like a drunk driver, he makes his choice to drink and to get in his car, he doesn’t choose to have an accident, but his actions take him there and he must be held accountable. It is irresponsible to make people believe that pregnancy is not a natural consequence from sex, it is and people must be responsible when they make their choices. I dont think its right to criminalize women, specially if they face difficult situations, for them the government should put in place programs that truly help them. For what I have seen, the trauma of a woman who goes through an unwanted pregnancy and then gives up the child for adoption vs the trauma of a woman who has an abortion is not even in the same scale of comparison! so lets not lie and try to make things other than they are.

  • Meche

    Now, regarding this article in specific, it is true we need to question our humanity, it is not the choice of anyone to make someone else suffer, pregnancy is not suffering, being dismembered is. It amazes me that with all the technology we have these days people can look at a sonogram and see the nose, face, fingertips, mouth of a little human and still say it is not human… we give some animals better unborn protection than we give to our own! the resemblance of an unborn baby to a born baby is more than the one of a newborn to an old person, but we dont question the dignity or right to live of ether, so its not a matter of whether its human or not, its a matter of whether its convenient or not, and to value life from its convenience its de-humanizing to all of us, born and unborn, old and young, so it is not a woman’s issue, its a humanity issue, Lets make something else clear: women can choose over their own body, not over someone else`s, the attention and sacrifice mothers make with their young children is far more than the one pregnancy demands, but I cant just kill my 3 year old because I have the right to choose myself over her, in the same way woman cannot chose over a body that its not hers, her unborn child is not her body, maybe not even her blood type, she made a choice before, and the freedom of choosing ends where the right and dignity of the other begins. Let women choose for their bodies, not their baby`s

  • kewake

    what are you saying then? Does the new life have rights or not? This is all in or not. Just is.

  • curc

    Thank you for your thoughtful statements.
    You said it well.

  • cricket44

    “pregnancy is not suffering” Not your call.

    “its a matter of whether its convenient or not,” Also not your call.

    “I cant just kill my 3 year old ” Irrelevant as your 3 year old is not inside of your body.

    You aren’t omniscient. None of your opinions are relevant to the private situations of others.

  • Sandra19

    Um, if the possibility of pregnancy is that repugnant to you, don’t do the thing that makes you pregnant.

    Why do the fathers of the children you wish to murder have no say? Why no equal rights for men? You claim you have supreme rights over the lives of their children and can kill those children regardless of their feelings, but then you want to force them to pay for the children you decide may live.

    Sounds pretty darned unequal to me.

  • Sandra19

    Um, if the possibility of pregnancy is that repugnant to you, don’t do the thing that makes you pregnant.

    Why do the fathers of the children you wish to murder have no say? Why no equal rights for men? You claim you have supreme rights over the lives of their children and can kill those children regardless of their feelings, but then you want to force them to pay for the children you decide may live.

    Sounds pretty darned unequal to me.

  • Sandra19

    If women are so concerned about their health and their “reproductive rights”, why do they continue to engage in behavior that results in pregnancy when pregnancy is supposedly such an unhealthy prospect for them?

    That’s just stupid.

    It’s like saying you’re deathly allergic to peanuts and then scarfing down a PayDay bar, and then blaming it all on someone else.

    Women, take responsibility for yourselves — don’t do the thing that makes you pregnant if you don’t want to be pregnant. It’s really not that complicated.

  • Debra Faber

    If I’m reading correctly, your implication is that if women don’t want to get pregnant, they shouldn’t have sex (not sure why you are beating around the bush about it, but that seems to be your stance in a nutshell.) And perhaps human sexuality is a smidgen more complicated than you may be willing to acknowledge. For instance, there are women out there who actually enjoy sex….just for the sake of having it. Just like men (how scandalous, I know.) And sometimes, even though they are taking responsibility for themselves in that instance (ie birth control) and sometimes though they may not be (ie no birth control) , they get pregnant (it can and does happen in both instances.) These women, audacious in their wickedness, would like the full range of options, same as the men involved in the act (after all, the men who committed the atrocious act can, and often do, walk away without being pregnant – and without your obstreperous morality poured all over THEIR actions and lack of potential consequences). So, Sandra19, your arrogant reference to women’s quote unquote reproductive rights is just that – arrogant and judgmental. And most of us girls out here think you can shove it where the sun don’t shine – who knows, you might enjoy it. After all, human sexuality IS complicated.

  • Debra Faber

    Sorry Awesumm. That’s the crux of this disagreement. When DOES another life begin? What defines life? Is that life viable? Is it a human life? That depends upon on the perspective and there is NO agreement.

    Differing viewpoints within the religious perspective:

    The genetic view (the position held by the Roman Catholic Church and many religious conservatives) holds that life begins with the acquisition of a novel genome (when egg and sperm combine).

    Those who hold the embryologic view (some mainline Protestant religions espouse this view) think life begins when the embryo undergoes gastrulation, and twinning is no longer possible; this occurs about 14 days into development.

    Proponents of the neurological view adhere to brainwave criteria; life begins when a distinct EEG pattern can be detected, about 24 to 27 weeks. (Some Protestant churches affirm this.) Interestingly, life is also thought to end when the EEG pattern is no longer present.

    Finally, one can say that life begins at or near birth, measured by fetal viability outside the mother’s body. (Judaism affirms something close to this position.) After all, somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of all embryos conceived miscarry.

    So religion doesn’t give us any clear cut answer. How about medical science – does it confirm that life begins at conception (when egg meets sperm?) Well, not really. In 2006, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Ethics published their opinion on “Using Preimplantation Embryos for Research.” In it, they say, “If the preimplantation embryo is left or maintained outside the uterus, it CANNOT develop into a human being.” So medical science implies that an embryo requires development, not just conception as a condition for human life – it’s not human until it develops.

  • Debra Faber

    And there’s more:

    What about legal standards? The law should have something to say about this. The legalistic perspective generally frames this as a debate on “personhood:”

    Personhood prior to birth has never been legally established, probably because the ramifications of such would create some dire scenarios:

    Would an unborn person be included in the census?
    Would a pregnant mother be able to drive in the HOV lanes with just her unborn child as a passenger? Would she be required to show proof of pregnancy if pulled over by an officer?
    Would a pregnant mother be able to claim an unborn as a dependent on her federal income tax return?
    Would businesses be able to (or even be required to) charge a pregnant woman an additional entry fee for her unborn child?
    Could a pregnant woman (even if she doesn’t know she is pregnant) be charged with child endangerment if she rode a horse? What about if she refused to get pre-natal care? What if she drank alcohol/smoked (while not knowing that she was pregnant)?
    How many doctors would stop giving pre-natal care for fear of being charged with child endangerment?
    Does an unborn child need a passport to return to the US after visiting a foreign country?
    For US Citizenship, does the child need to be born in the US or conceived in the US?

    There is no clear cut answer, and there are many conflicting opinions, not just yours.